Board of Directors

Wendy Cox, JD. Chair

Wendy Cox is an attorney and non-profit fund development consultant. She was a trial lawyer for many years in Minnesota and after moving to Florida began representing foster kids in dependency court as a pro-bono attorney. Many foster kids have parents who have been in jail or prison and that is where she saw firsthand the extent to which the incarceration of an individual impacts their children.

Because of her interest in criminal justice issues, a friend introduced Wendy to Barbara Richards who shared the mission and work of Project 180. That was seven years ago. Since then, Wendy has been an active volunteer and financial supporter. “Providing people with the resources and encouragement they need to live their best life is what motivates my commitment to this work.  People face challenges in life and to turn things around, they need someone to believe in them and help them design and implement their roadmap to success. That promotes real opportunity for change which impacts individuals, their families and entire communities.  That is what Project 180 does.”

In 2006 Wendy and Jim, her husband of 35 years, moved from Minnesota to Florida to get away from a lifetime of shoveling snow. They have both recently retired.  When not volunteering for local non-profits, Wendy enjoys yoga, fly-fishing, hiking and other outdoor activities that do not require a winter jacket.

Pamela Gore Meade, MA. Vice Chair

Pamela is a passionate volunteer and financial supporter of Project 180.  In 2016, Pamela, a long time advocate of criminal justice reform, read the book “Just Mercy”, by Bryan Stevenson.  The book was a tipping point from interest to action. So compelled by the stories of incarceration and challenges of reentry following release, she promised herself to become involved locally in helping to change the status quo. She began volunteering for Project 180 in 2017, after having attended a Strong Voices/Strong Subjects lecture, and joined the board in 2019, where she served as Chair in 2021.

With a working background in program and fund development for both academic institutions and nonprofit organizations, Pamela primarily helped foster and supervise sustainable development projects, particularly in natural forest management, throughout Latin America. She has spent the last 20 years as a community volunteer with various philanthropic organizations, focusing on women’s education, environmental conservation, and justice. Pamela holds a B.A. in Inter-American Studies from Florida State University, with minors in Music and Interior Design. She completed post-baccalaureate studies at the University of Cologne, Germany, in International Politics, and received her M.A. from the University of Florida in Latin American Studies.

Pamela is a third generation Floridian and mother to two young adult children and lives in Sarasota with her husband of 25 years, Robert, and two Labrador retrievers. An avid reader and writer, she enjoys applying those skills to support the mission and vision of Project 180. She also enjoys foreign languages, gardening, music and entertaining.

Harold Young, JD. Secretary

Harold D. Young has thirty-one years of legal experience representing persons in various legal matters, including estates and trusts, family law, small businesses, non-profit organizations, and public housing communities.  Now retired, Harold served as the Director of the Maryland Office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for thirty-one years.  As Director, he was responsible for enforcing the Fair Housing, housing  and Community Development Regulations and saw firsthand the importance of affordable and accessible housing – something that Project 180 provides to citizens returning from prison.  A graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law and a Maryland State Bar Association member, Harold also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Virginia State University and a Master of Arts in Urban Planning and Policy Analysis from Morgan State University.

Harold discovered Project 180 two years ago. “While researching programs for the social justice ministry at my church, Light of the World International Church, I called Project 180.  I was not put on hold.  I was not told someone will get to me later.  Instead, the kind voice of the CEO, took fifteen minutes of her day to explain the role Project 180 in the social justice movement.  She also shared with me other organizations that I should contact to get a broader perspective on how to improve services to underserved communities. I knew that this was an organization I wanted to support.”

Harold and his wife, Carolyn, moved from Maryland to Florida in 2019 and has continued his involvement in civic and community affairs. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of ASALH Manasota (The Association for the Study of African American Life and History) Board of Directors.

Joe Malave, BA. Treasurer

With more than 27 years in the financial services industry, Joe, a certified financial planner (CFP) with Palm Avenue Wealth Advisory Group at Raymond James, works closely with families and professionals to help them address each of their financial objectives and move toward the future with confidence. Before joining Raymond James, Joe was a financial advisor with UBS and NFP Securities. He began his career as a registered principal helping to run four offices for Cigna Financial Advisors in Southern California, before becoming a Regional Vice President for several insurance companies such as Allianz, Pacific Life and Transamerica. Joe earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Connecticut and completed coursework toward an MBA.

Joe volunteers his time as a financial literacy instructor with Project 180 in an effort to reduce recidivism locally at the Sarasota County Jail. When asked why he chose to get involved with Project 180, Joe says “to help save lives in a vulnerable part of the population people forget and ignore. Helping them makes our community safer and more productive. “

Originally from Newington, Connecticut, Joe lives in Sarasota and has two daughters, Layna and Nora. In his spare time, he plays tennis and practices mixed martial arts including Muay Thai, Boxing, Brazilian Jujitsu and Combat Submission Wrestling.

Robert Collins, MCSE

Robert (Bob) learned about Project 180 through his volunteer mentoring in the Recovery Pod at the Sarasota County Jail. His belief that his life experience has positioned him to bring hope and guidance to men determined to get their lives back on track has propelled him in this mentoring for the past five years. One of those men was involved with Project 180 and that is how Bob met the CEO, Barbara Richards. As Bob learned more about the work of Project 180, one thing led to another – and soon Bob was on the board. Bob was so committed to his new board service that he attended the Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s Leadership Institute so that he could bring fresh expertise and leadership to the organization.

Bob spent his early career in retail and food service management followed by many years working as an IT professional during which he obtained his MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) certification. Bob is currently in solar power sales where he engages with people in all walks of life and brings his friendly smile to those who want to find an alternative energy source and benefit the planet at the same time. Bob’s true passion is helping people – both through his mentoring and in his work.

In his spare time, Bob bowls on a league, reads books and travels. Bob grew up in a military family and moved around a lot, giving him an appreciation for travel and experiencing what the world has to offer. His favorite destination is Hawaii.  Interesting local fact about Bob – his grandfather’s grandfather received what was once 160 acres as part of a federal land grant awarded him by President Benjamin Harrison. It has been in his family since the late 1800s and is part of an historical community located near Floral City. It is still being used today as a free roam cattle ranch.

Mike Kozubek, JD

Michael practiced law for over 40 years as a general practitioner, assistant district attorney, DUI prosecutor, defense counsel, appeals attorney, assistant to trial judges, and guardian ad litem. He has an extensive background representing parents and children in child abuse, neglect and delinquency cases and worked with judges, case managers, therapists, and other attorneys and professionals to develop effective placement plans and services for wards of the state.  He has additional experience in technology consulting, writing and teaching.

Because of his experience, he was drawn to the mission of Project 180, which he says, “helps provide essential resources and opportunities for formerly incarcerated men and women to reenter the community again as healthy, useful people with a positive outlook.  The success of our graduates proves our programs are working. The need, however, remains great. With your help, we can do more.”

He is a member of the Criminal Justice Committee of Sarasota United for Responsibility and Equity and also serves on the Advisory Committee of the Center for Spiritual Transformation of St. Boniface Episcopal Church. When not volunteering for local non-profits, Mike enjoys creative writing, yoga, golf, tennis, and biking. He is a member of Audubon and Sierra Club.

Christie Nolan, MS, CPCC

Christie Nolan, President and CEO of Mission Matters Consulting & Coaching Group, is best known as a nonprofit change agent. With over two decades of experience as a nonprofit executive, community foundation vice president, and consultant, Christie is dedicated to improving the performance and impact of nonprofit organizations and those who lead them. Recognized as a leader in nonprofit management and governance, Christie supports organizations to achieve greater impact through inclusive strategic planning and board transformations.  Prior to founding Mission Matters Consulting & Coaching Group, Christie served as Director of the Nonprofit Resource Center and Vice President of Capacity Building for the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. Christie has received recognition for her capacity building work in Florida and D.C. She was featured on the cover of West Coast Woman, for her contributions in the nonprofit sector.  Christie received her Master of Science in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Purdue University.

Christie serves on the Project 180 Board of Directors because ensuring safe and successful reentry reduces the cycle of recidivism, reduces the burden on our criminal justice system, and improves overall quality of life for citizens and our community. She believes strongly in the peer to peer approach of Project 180 and would like to see more trauma-informed techniques, strategies, and approaches to assist the formerly incarcerated in recovery from mental and substance use disorders.

Christie resides in Sarasota, FL on 5-acres with her husband, four dogs, cat, and 13 chickens. She is a Master Gardener and also enjoys camping, yoga and metalsmithing.

David Shuel, BS

David was born in Indianapolis and graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science in business management. He spent most of his adult life in Chicago where he raised his two children. There, David ran the Chicago location of his family business, HP Products, a full-service industrial supply distribution company with over eight hundred employees. When HP sold out to Ferguson Supply in 2014, David moved his family to Sarasota and purchased his own business, Beneva Flowers and Plantscapes.

It was at Beneva Flowers that David learned about Project 180.  David had hired a man who, unbeknownst to him, was a Project 180 resident/returning citizen. The employee shared how Project 180 had impacted his life. David immediately reached out to Project 180’s CEO, Barbara Richards, to see how he could help make a positive impact in the Sarasota community through the organization. Barbara invited David and his partner, Leah, to have dinner with the guys at Keifer’s House, one of the Project 180 residences. They were so moved by the experience that David called Barbara the next day and asked how he could get involved to support Project 180’s good work.

David joined the board shortly after and has become deeply involved in the organization. He has since hired his third employee through Project 180 and has found that being a Second Chance employer is a great investment in his business.

Lt. Arlene Tracy, MA, BSA

Arlene Tracy started her career in corrections with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) in 2004. Promoted to sergeant in 2007 she took the female recovery program from a 14-bed unit to a 48-bed unit and implemented a court approved parenting class for men inside the Sarasota County Correctional Facility. She currently serves as the lieutenant over programs, property, and commissary. In May 2019, she received a congressional award from Congressman Buchanan for implementing innovative programs for incarcerated individuals. Arlene is an inspector for the Florida Model Jail standards (FMJS), a CJSTC certified instructor and enjoys teaching corrections at Suncoast Technical College. She serves on the Florida Assertive Community Treatment (FACT) advisory board, whose purpose is to help those with severe mental illness. Most recently, December of 2021 she received her masters in Criminal Justice from USF.

When asked what led her to serve on the Project 180 board, she says: “Barbara Richards shares the passion of helping incarcerated individuals turn their lives around. And that is important to creating a healthy community for everyone.”

When not at work she enjoys camping, hiking, biking, and canoeing.

Staff

Barbara Richards, MS

Barbara Richards, MS is the President/CEO and Founder of Project 180. A former Adult Basic Education and GED teacher in the San Francisco County Jail system, Barbara came to Florida to study for her Master of Science Degree in Criminology & Criminal Justice from 2004 to 2006 at The Florida State University. Prior to becoming involved in criminal justice issues, Barbara owned and operated a successful restaurant in San Francisco for fifteen years.

Barbara became an advocate for incarcerated citizens in 1997 when she learned through NPR about the disparity in literacy levels between incarcerated and non-incarcerated citizens. She founded Project 180 to create better life options for currently and formerly incarcerated citizens, particularly in the field of life education. She is fascinated and inspired by the extraordinary potential of individuals engaged in the process of life transformation.

barbara@project180reentry.org

Michael C. Southwick, Jr.

Program Manager

  • Residential Program
  • Financial Literacy Course
  • Information & Referrals

Mike.project180@gmail.com

Chuck Dockery

Program Coordinator

  • First Week Out
  • CEO Program

Chuck.project180@gmail.com

Lonnie Martin

Maintenance Manager

Honorary Society

A group of citizens and community leaders committed to the Mission and Vision of Project 180.

Official Partners

Project 180. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE, WITHIN THE STATE, 1-800-HELPFLA (1-800-435-7352), OR VIA THE INTERNET AT WWW.800HELPFLA.COM. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. (Registration Number CH27315).
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